The Postal Service stole $20,000 worth of donation checks from the mail

New York State Representative Elise Stefanik says US Postal Service workers tore into her campaign mail and stole $20,000 worth of campaign checks — exposing donors to potential identity theft or fraud.

Stefanik, the powerful leader of the House of Representatives Republican Conference, made the startling claim in a letter Thursday to Postmaster General Louis DeJoy.

The Congressman’s Office also provided The Post with photographic evidence – obtained by the Postal Service – of donor mail that was ransacked, including a torn check from a donor.

“We are writing to you on behalf of our clients, Congresswoman Elise Stefanik and
her campaign committee, Elise for Congress, regarding the repeated targeted theft of
Campaign posts from packages shipped through the United States Postal Service
(“USPS”),” said Stefanik’s DC-based attorney, Michael Toner.

Stolen campaign checks.
Rep. Elise Stefanik has accused the postal service of ripping into her mail and stealing $20,000 in campaign checks.
Elise Stefanik for the Congress

“On four separate occasions between June 2022 and November 2022, packages of campaign contributions sent by Elise for Congress were torn open and the contents stolen while in the custody of the USPS or its contractors.”

Toner said that three of the thefts discovered in Memphis occurred in a single week and concluded that “evidence indicates that the Elise for Congress packages were looted by a USPS employee or contractor while the packages were in transit.” “.

“These repeated USPS security failures have not only resulted in the loss of nearly $20,000 in campaign funds, but also — and more alarmingly — have exposed hundreds of Congressman Stefanik’s campaign supporters to potential identity theft or financial fraud,” Stefanik’s attorney said.

Representative Elise Stefanik.
Rep. Elise Stefanik demands that the Postal Service investigate all the ransacked mail containing $20,000 in campaign checks.
The Washington Post via Getty Im

It’s unclear if any of the stolen checks were cashed.

“Elise for Congress continues to identify our grassroots donors who are impacted and looks forward to a prompt response from Mr. DeJoy,” said a campaign spokesperson.

The letter indicates that the USPS Office of the Inspector General is investigating the mail theft, but Stefanik is disappointed and frustrated with the response so far.

Postmaster Louis DeJoy.
Postmaster General Louis DeJoy is again in the hot seat over allegations that the Postal Service stole campaign checks that were supposed to be delivered to Rep. Elise Stefanik.

“The US Postal Inspection Service — which recovered the discarded, torn packages in Memphis — did not return our customer’s calls,” Toner said.

The Postal Service IG office said it was difficult to catch the USPS employees or contractors who committed the crimes unless one or more of Stefanik’s donors became “victims of identity theft or financial fraud,” Toner said.

The Stefanik letter also said the congresswoman expected a USPS investigation report shortly after the June mail thefts but did not receive one.

“It is unacceptable that the USPS has repeatedly allowed these targeted thefts and cannot determine who committed the thefts, let alone where or how the thefts occurred,” Stefanik’s attorney told DeJoy.

Mail with donations destined for MP Elise Stefanik was searched.

Mail theft has become a widespread problem, says Rep. Elise Stefanik.

Obviously upset, Stefanik demands that the USPS give her a full update by Dec. 8 on what actions it has taken so far in investigating the thefts and what actions it will take to prevent or prosecute mail theft against her and other Americans pursue future.

Stefanik, on the other hand, may increase her oversight of the Postal Service if Republicans regain control of the House of Representatives and take over key investigative bodies in January.

Stefanik’s letter said mail theft is “widespread” in the United States, with crooks tearing up packages they believe contain cash or checks, which are then “laundered,” transcribed, and cashed. It cited research showing that the number of stolen checks being sold on the dark web has skyrocketed from 114 a week in the fall of 2020 to about 2,000 checks a week this year.

In August, three Queens mail carriers were charged with stealing mail as part of a $16 million COVID-19 benefits scam.

“This astounding increase in mail theft appears to be due in part to criminals moving from small-scale thefts on individual mailboxes to large-scale thefts targeting mail once it was placed in USPS custody,” says Stefanik’s attorney. toner said.

“Mail theft can devastate small business owners and those on a steady income,
including the elderly,” noted Toner. “By failing to prevent or deter mail theft, USPS is exposing hardworking, innocent Americans to predatory criminals just as rising inflation and a slowing economy have put them at greatest financial risk.”

The Postal Service had no immediate comment. The Postal Service stole $20,000 worth of donation checks from the mail


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